You have often heard of this simple term called antibody and its significance in your existence. However, do you know what that means? It is a natural form of protein in the body to protect us from harmful elements known as antigens. Precisely, the role of antibodies is pertinent when it comes to shielding your immune system and boosting the body’s defense mechanism. We will learn everything about antibodies and how antibodies are produced by us.
Table of Contents
Functions of the antibodies
In this section, our main topic of discussion is the functions of antibodies. Go through the below list to understand that at once
Here the antigens soluble in serum glue in clumps with the help of antibodies. And through this, they force the antigens to precipitate in bunches.
In this process, the antibodies glue the external cells into clans.
Netrulisation is a process where the neutral antibodies obstruct the portion of the surface where the cells seem ineffective.
Types of antibodies
Here we will talk about five critical types of antibodies that are classified based on their H chains. Note the attributes and functions of these types are diverse:
The IgM moves through the blood and takes the pentametric shape Y. The best is that it is not much empathic to the antigens because of its pentametric shape. Note that IgM first came into existence during microbial infection and cell B produced it. This antibody’s primary function is to bind the receiving cell’s surface and prepare the cell surface for signaling.
It is present in the blood, and its number is usually more. The most exciting part played by IgG is that it detoxifies the harmful elements. Apart from that, it plays a crucial role in recognizing the antibody and antigen complex formed by macrophages and Leukocytes. Moreover, this particular antibody type is functional in shielding the infant unless it develops its immune system. It reaches the fetus using the placenta.
This type of antibody is small in amounts. Now, this typical one shields the body from parasites. If the parasitic attack is less, then the IgE is engaged in protecting the body from allergy.
This particular antibody is present in abundance in the fluid in the intestine, breast milk, mucus, saliva, and saliva. The newborn feeding on breast milk receives this antibody, which protects the gastrointestinal tract from the pathogens.
IgD is present in a lesser amount and plays an essential role in antibody induction produced by B cells. Thus, these are some of the significant types of antibodies.
Why does the body need to have antibodies?
To answer this, you need to trace back to the idea that the immune system, which is designed to fight against infection or check its invasion. They shape antibody consisting of two similar arms made of light and heavy chains together assure a threat to the antigens. You should know that antibodies are produced from white blood cells B and T, who are actively involved in shielding the body from antigens. Whenever the body poses any threat from general body issues like inflammation, these two cells play a defensive role.
Role of B cells
Talking about the B cells, it either kills the particular antigens or neutralizes them.
Role of T cells
T cells carry out various types of functions like killing the cells infected or appointing other cells to wipe off the infection.
Highlight on the polyclonal and monoclonal antibody
Definition of polyclonal antibody
Polyclonal antibodies show a group of antibodies obtained from various B cells. It is used for identifying the different types of epitopes on the same part. Now every single antibody is used for recognizing the exclusive kind of antigen.
Benefits of the polyclonal antibody
- Not so expensive
- Need to use the antibodies within four months
- It is stable and is resistant to change in pH level
- It can detect several epitopes, which makes the detection more specific
- The best thing is that it can help to couple the antibodies quickly
- It can bind in minutes while targeting any particular antigen.
- It can even capture the protein, such as Chip or IP, in an instant
- The polyclonal antibody is capable of detecting the native type of proteins
Definition of monoclonal antibody
This type of antibody is generated from an individual antibody produced by a B cell. It can bind with a single epitope. Every single antibody in the polyclonal form is the monoclonal type. In this process, the B cell is separated and amalgamated to an immortal hybridoma cell. Thus, the same kind of antibodies generates in large numbers.
Benefits of monoclonal antibody
- Can produce some antibodies that too large in number
- The monoclonal antibody can maintain the parity between clan to clan homogeneity
- It is highly specific to an individual epitope
- The possibility of cross-reactivity is relatively less
- It can examine the level of protein more fruitfully and can offer foolproof results
Characterization of antibody
Characterization of the antibody takes place at several vital stages. Let’s highlight some of the significant steps at once:
Screening- at this stage, the samples of antibody and antigen targets are identified as having antibody and antigen specifically.
Titering – this stage is mainly involved in measuring the concentration of the antibody.
Isotyping – used to determine the monoclonal type of antibody subclass and class.
Now let’s elaborate on the steps. Note that screening is the first stage in the entire production process because it recognizes which clones of hybridoma and animals can be involved in producing the high-end antibody, especially for a particular antigen.
Then comes the titering stage, a crucial part of antibody production, by using a method called immunoglobulin.
Finally, isotyping helps to understand the subclass and class, such as IgG1, IgG2a, IgM, IgG.
Therefore you can understand how antibodies are produced by you and need to pay equal heed to the characterization.
Purification of antibody
The purification method of an antibody means isolation of the antibody from the serum of the polyclonal antibody and the monoclonal antibody’s hybridoma cell. Therefore, follow the necessary steps:
Crude: Precipitation of Protein-based serum consisting of immunoglobulin
General: Purification of a specific antibody class regardless of the specificity of antigen
Specific: Purification of certain samples of antibodies that can bind itself to the specific molecule of the antigen
Fragmentation of antibody
Purified antibodies allow customization for specific uses. It takes several processes to go through this. And these processes are like fragmenting into tiny units to bind antigen, conjugated with the enzyme. According to experts, majorly antibodies form like molecules.
Antibody fragmentation refers to the removal process of unwanted parts of the antibody and these cannot bind antigens. For example, you can take that the antibody fragments of IgG are Fab and Fab 2.
A brief idea on antibody production
It is pertinent to understand that antibody creation or production does not limit to understand its meaning in a broader sense. One can term this for producing a particular antibody. We can also use the same term for elaborating the process involved in the preparation of immunogen, creation of hybridoma, immunization, screening, isotyping, and collection.
The antibodies are produced by labs are different from our natural production. For this, experts need to first gather samples of antigens and inject the same into the farm animals in the laboratory.
Later, the animal helps to provide a serum containing antibody to determine how it fights a certain kind of antigen. Researchers get the polyclonal antibody from the bleeding in the serum. On the other hand, the monoclonal antibodies generate by fusing the myeloma cells that are immortal with the immunized mice’s spleen cells. The entire process is very much useful in creating the monoclonal type hybridoma cell.
To produce the antibody correctly, one needs to take a lot of care. We even need to plan very intelligently and follow the steps diligently.
- Need to purify or synthesize the target antigen such as the Haptin or Peptide.
- Have to select the right immunogenic protein carrier.
- One has to produce an immunogen
- Used to immunize animals following appropriate timing
How antibodies are produced by cells?
To comprehend how antibodies are produced by, you need to pay attention to the immune system of any organism. Whenever any external molecule attacks the immune system, the protein present in the notable cells, such as dendritic and macrophages, immediately speeds up capturing the foreign substance. Once done, they start breaking down that molecule into smaller units. Later, antigens transfer to the lymphocyte cell B and protect against harmful elements.
Once the antigens connect to cell B, the next step called the somatic hypermutation follows. At this stage, the cell B starts to program a new antibody that will have an exclusive antigen-binding element. Now, this element would be able to bind with an epitope present in the antigen specifically. In the meantime, you should know that each of the cell B lymphocytes will create an exclusive antibody for a distinguished epitope.
Later, the B cells start to release the antibodies into the blood. These antibodies create a binding particularly to the external molecule and thus allow an individual’s immune system to single out the molecule from the immune system. But there are some cases where these antibodies, because of the binding nature, incapacitate the pathogens like viruses. However, it would help if you also considered some cases like those of bacterial pathogens where the antibodies stick to the protein’s surface regarding the bacteria. Next, the antibodies transmit a signal and command the entire body that the unwanted pathogens have to be ruined then and there. Though the external molecule has been kicked off, still cell B lives there in the blood and is ever ready to produce antibodies that would kill any new antigen.
Creation of custom antibody
The immune system captures proteins and shatters them into single epitopes when we try and create custom antibody. Later display that to the Cell B so that the development of antibody particularly for that epitopes can be done quickly.
The process needs experts to garner antibodies into a serum or use it to isolate singular B cells that creates unique antibodies for specific epitopes. Note that if the antigen protein is much in quantity, several B cells will deploy to generate antibodies against several epitopes present in different parts of the proteins.
Can antibodies prevent infection?
Note that plasma cells produce ample antibodies, and that protects us in two underlined ways.
- Firstly the antibodies obstruct the antigens by binding it outside of the pathogens so that it won’t be able to trespass the cells. Therefore this destroys the chance for any virus to enter the human body and replicate.
- Secondly, antibodies bind the antigens on the pathogen and signal the rest of the white blood cells, such as the phagocytes, to kill those viruses.
Antibodies are crucial for anybody to combat against foreign invaders. Antibodies are quite significant in curing infections as well. We hope this article will prove much useful for the readers. During a crucial time of a pandemic, we need antibodies produced by us to fight the deadly virus.